West Ham’s Lambert link is nothing to worry about

Paul Lambert has demonstrated in leading Norwich City to successive promotions he has all the qualities that most club owners want in their manager.

Success on a shoestring budget after galvanising a team that had reached its lowest ebb was always going to catch the attention of other clubs.

Every time a perceived bigger club is looking for a new manager his name inevitably crops up.

West Ham are the latest to cast admiring glances over the City boss as they seek a replacement for Avram Grant, who was unceremoniously sacked after last weekend's 3-2 defeat to Wigan Athletic, which confirmed their relegation to the Championship.

This is of course not the first time that Lambert has been courted by another club, with Burnley the last to openly declare their desire to speak to the ex-Colchester boss.

Lambert is now reportedly Hammers owners' David Gold and David Sullivan's first choice to replace Grant but in perhaps a sign of just how far Norwich have come during his stewardship you find Canary fans asking: 'Why would he want to go there?' – and with good reason.

Lambert has already been told he will have up to �40m to spend on new players (including salaries and bonuses) over the summer to help establish the Canaries in the Premier League while West Ham face up to a future which, in the short term, will see them sell off most of their crown jewels.

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Player of the year Scott Parker has already been linked with a move across London to Arsenal and all of the �10m fee quoted is likely to be swallowed up by the �80m debt the club is carrying.

Other leading lights, including former Norwich City goalkeeper Robert Green and German international Thomas Hitzlsperger are also expected to be sold off to rid the Eastenders of the top flight wages they currently honour as any prospective manager faces up to the task of building a side from scratch.

The fact the Hammers' end-of-season dinner descended into a brawl on Monday evening perhaps makes the post even less enticing.

Lambert's stock has risen so much over the 21 months he has been in charge at Carrow Road that his name deserves mention at any Premier League or ambitious Championship club looking for a change of direction.

When you consider that his current Norwich side is valued at around the �4m mark, he has shown that he can deliver success without the need for splashing the cash.

However, the 41-year-old has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to City while the club's board realise just how important the former Colchester man is to their desire of becoming an established Premier League outfit.

Bookmakers are also unconvinced, offering odds of 20-1 that Lambert is ready to jump ship, with Chris Hughton the current favourite for the Upton Park job.